Let natural light in and save money on bills

by Bonnie

For a fresh interior look now that the nights are drawing in, Nifties could play around with shading on their walls to maximise the use of natural light.



For a fresh interior look now that the nights are drawing in, Nifties could play around with shading on their walls to maximise the use of natural light.

Oliver Heath, director of green architectural consultancy oliverheath.com, explained that as well as making rooms appear lighter and airier, homeowners can cut their energy bills by leaving lights turned off for longer.

"Obviously the more electric lights you use, the more carbon you use – so if you can maximise natural light, that's good. As an interior designer, it's difficult to do things like increase the size of windows, but what you can do is work hard to bounce natural light around an interior," he suggested.

Experimenting with colour is one way to take advantage of any natural light available, and a carefully considered colour scheme can be directed to bounce light off window sills and frames into the room.

"If you are going to use darker colours, I would advise using them on walls further away from windows. Use a tonal colour scheme, so the colours near windows are lighter in order to bounce dark light into the further recesses of the room," Mr Heath explained.

And while hanging up curtains can act as insulation to prevent heat loss through the windows, blocking the glass during the daytime can actually stop light entering a room.

"Lot of clients that I see have gone into this whole trend of big swathes of curtains that honestly block around a third of the window and the rooms are dark because of that. With overextended curtain poles, it means you can still see the fabric but you're not blocking light coming in," Mr Heath noted.

Other small steps householders can take to let in the light this autumn is to clear away plants that are growing around the windows and try to wash glass panels once every six weeks or so, as this can get rid of the grime and muck that accumulates there.

For more interior design inspiration, check out our feature on cheap home makeover tips.

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